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How many is too many medications


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Derrick, my 17 yr old son, has POTS as well as me (most of you know that). Anyway, I REALLY like his Dr and respect him and he also talks to Dr Grubb about us and our treatment. I am just a little reluctant about his meds-maybe it's because I have had such bad luck with them(not that he will). This is his regimen:

Toprol XL 37.5 mg once a day-it was just increased from 25 mg about a week ago.

Clonazepam 1mg at bedtime

Celexa 20 mg once a day-which he was switched from Zoloft 50 mg(I think he did better on the Zoloft)

Wellbutrin 50 mg once a day-we just added that a week ago

Florinef 0.1mg once a day- we also just added that a week ago as well

I know that it takes meds a while to work ( he didn't start any of them until April 9th-other than the Zoloft that he had been on for a few years) but he doesn't seem to be getting any better at all, if anything he seems to be getting worse. The Dr told me that this is going to take a long time to get him stabilized (which I know-heck, I can't get stabel cause I can't take hardly anything!) but I just worry about him taking so many meds.

Anyone else on this much and doing better? I know a lot of it is just the worrysome mother in me but I just don't know if I am doing the right thing or not.

Thanks for your help


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I can appreciate your concern regarding medications.

Obviously, I'm no Dr. but if I was in your shoes I would ask what the Dr's expectation of each particular medication is in your sons case.

Did they increase the Toprol because his heart rate and BP are still too high or because they just hope by increasing it will help him feel better?

The florinef makes sense to me to try if he's never tried it before and it may help him.

Personally, I would feel most uncomfortable with his being on Celexa and Wellbutrin at the same time. I would also report to the Dr that he seemed better on the Zoloft and ask about going back to that one.

Bottom line, ask questions and if you don't feel comfortable with their answers or the results you see in your son and if you son says the meds aren't helping him then wean him off.

I'm like you...I started out with some meds helping some but over the years I've become intolerant to almost all medication of any kind...OTC or prescription.

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I don't have a hard and fast answer for you, but only to add that I take more Rx's than that daily, plus otc stuff too.

Lexapro, Cozaar, Advair, Flonase, Zyrtec, Singulair, Nexium, Miralax and benedryl are all daily. I also have a long list of PRN meds, including oxycontin, levsin, amerge, norflex and albuterol...I'm probably missing a few.

Is it too much? I don't know. The list of daily meds for me isn't likely to change much--I've tried weaning off each one, and it just leaves me unable to function. I suppose the answer is that the rigth amount is just that much that helps you be functional/more functional.


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Of course it's ideal to take no meds, but I wouldn't count. If he needs them, he needs them. Antidepressants really do take at least two months to work, and maybe three in some cases. There's no point in coming this far only to stop trying them before they may start to work.

I was totally against meds at one point in my life, but I believe that if they improve your quality of life, they are worth it. The only time they're not is if side effects make you feel worse or if there's a long-term risk to taking them. Toprol and clonazepam have been around for 40-something years, so they are well-researched and safe (aside from potential addiction to clonazepam, but that's debatable; just because you need it to function better doesn't mean you are addicted). Wellbutrin and Celexa are both in the SSRI/SNRI class, and were developed in the last seven years or so, but seem to be safe as well. I don't know about Florinef but do know it's been around for quite some time. Maybe you could talk to the pharmacist as well as your son's doc to get some reassurance on this.

After my dad received a kidney transplant in 1996, he was taking 15 -- yes, 15 -- prescription medications. And they had to be taken in large quantities (sometimes 3 or 4 pills of one kind of medicine) up to 4 times a day. It could have taken over his life, but he didn't let it. He traveled, went out, did the things he wanted to do, and never counted. If Derrick could consolidate his med-taking into 1x/day or 2x/day, that would be ideal.

Take care, and don't worry!


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I don't think that you are overdoing the medication on your son. When I was 20 I was taking 10 pills in the morning 5 at lunch 10 again at dinner and 22 at night. I had such a hard time figuring out my meds cause they wouldn't fit in the pill organizer I had to buy 2 of them. My doctors told me that since nothing was doing anything to help to go off them all. I went through such withdrawl from it all that I was in bed for about two weeks til I felt better. Kind of like coming off the Effexor, that was bad too. I think that the meds youa re taking are in control.


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Hi Danelle -

I'll echo what many others have said. I, like most of us, would love to be on nothing but I wouldn't be able to function. Yet I would also say that you're right to want to understand what each is for, the reasoning behind them , and the expected timelines for decisions of whether they're doing anything positive. These are all reasonable & responsible questions. Especially as he is fairly new to the meds game.

That said, I'm on 10 meds daily, not counting topical stuff or a few that are PRN and am confident of what each is doing individually. Like Nina I've tried being without each & my body just can't handle it. There are some I have been on at times that I have been able to get off of, though....some requiring a replacement (that was more favorable for some reason), some not.

So as tempting as it is, don't get hung up on how many. But do keep up your desire to question & understand. Especially if you feel he is doing worse.

Let us know how things go,


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Thanks for your replies :P Derrick is still "adjusting" to his medications. I guess I am just concerned because I know I was unable to tolerate those meds myself. I can only take a bb and clonazepam. But most of all, I think it is just the worrisome mom in me. I just don't want my son to be on so many meds at such a young age (or any age for that matter). B) Better yet, I don't want him to have POTS. Realistically, I know there is nothing I can do to "cure" him and that breaks my heart. I just don't want him to end up in the shape I am in. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy(not that I have any) but especially not my child, no-I mean not ANYBODY.

This illness does so much to a person, from head to toe. I just wonder sometimes how I make it through the long days, not being able to do a darn thing but sit on the couch or lay down. It gets so lonely and depressing. I just can't fathom Derrick living this life.

Sorry to rattle on, just needed to vent a little. I am feeling down today anyway because I miss my father dearly. He passed 2 1/2 yrs ago but it seems like yesterday-then again it seems like eternity. I know he is with my mom and no longer suffering-that brings me some comfort. I am just being selfish.

Good grief, where did that come from??? :lol:

Sorry again,


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